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March 13-21 2021, SIBUR ARENA
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  • 21.03.2021, 17:22

THOMAS STAERTZEL: “WE ARE REALLY HAPPY WITH THE ST. PETERSBURG LADIES TROPHY PARTNERSHIP”

– You are a sponsor and the official automotive partner of the official automotive partner of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy for the fourth year in a row. Are you satisfied with the partnership?

– Last year was a difficult one as it was very influenced by coronavirus, by lockdown and limitations, and we are very happy to continue being sponsor of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy. I think it’s a very interesting partnership, because sports cars and sports performances are coming together. I think this tournament is really well-organized; it’s a very solid and important partner for us. We have a very positive experience with this event and we would like to continue our partnership. Porsche is well-known for sports cars and its image really supports women’s tennis. Since 70s Porsche actually supports women’s tennis. We are happy to be back here, so answering your question we have a very positive experience of partnership with the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy.

What values unite tennis, this tournament and Porsche brand? 

I think with everything what’s going on now in order to be successful you have to prepare yourself very thoroughly and in details. This is true for the event itself, as you can see that everything here is very well-prepared: new solutions for communication was developed to assure safety at the arena. Porsche, as the sports cars brand, it’s about performance, it’s about getting the power on the track and it’s very competitive. Porsche has developed its products over the years for the race track. It’s a feeling for competition, for performance, for design, for style, – something you will see here on the court as well. It’s a fair and interesting competition. Our sports cars are a good fit for this kind of sports. 

– We understand that last year wasn’t easy, but could you elaborate a bit on the results of 2020 for Porsche in Russia? Any facts and figures to share?

– 2020 was a rollercoaster for the whole industry for the automotive industry. We had a quite good start and then we had a lockdown in Moscow in April. We had to make sure that the business stays profitable for our dealers. In the end it has been a quite successful year. We sold 5711 cars to be precise. We are just slightly below last year, but much better than our expectations. We found new way of working, new way of communicating with our customers, we stayed close to them in digital way, in social media, we found new ways of working together in smart ways in new working conditions. I think the spirit of everyone in Porsche team became stronger. Our customers showed that even the situations like this pandemic doesn’t really harm reliability to our brand of our customers. The biggest sell of last year was of Porsche Cayenne – we sold about 4000 cars. It shows again that this is a very typical car for Russia, it’s very famous here and has high position in the market. We are very thankful to our customers that they stayed with us and we stayed with them. From the sales figures the year was quite good, as well as from our partnerships point of view.

 

We know that Porsche likes to have appealing, good-looking ambassadors like Julia Goerges, Angelique Kerber and Maria Sharapova and so on. Do you have any new Porsche brand ambassadors? Are you looking for new faces of the brand? Can you name the current list of Porsche brand partners? 

– You mentioned our ambassadors in tennis. We are really happy to have partnership with all of those amazing champions you named. I’ve met Maria Sharapova in many exhibitions tournament sin the USA and even in Sochi where she is from. But there are other champions too, like car racers Walter Roerhl, Mark Weber or the ski racer Aksel Lund Svindal. I think we have a good bunch of very good ambassadors, who help us to authentically speak about Porsche, genuinely live with Porsche and show the performance of Porsche. All those partnerships have been very positive for us. 

– What are the models of Porsche cars, which are the spectators of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy are seeing here throughout this week?

– Most of our models presented here. I had a little walk in the city this morning and I’ve seen the logo of the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy tournament on our cars. These cars are Cayenne, of course, the most successful model on the Russian market, but also Macan, Panamera, and we are very happy to have the center of attention on the court on Taycan model. 

– Speaking of Taycan. In the advertisement of this model it says “Soul electrified”. What does it mean? What stays behind that slogan? 

– I think the most important thing in sports like with cars is soul. Soul makes something sustainable, long-term, successful and unique. I think with Taycan we started last year in December, we had the first Taycans on the streets in Russia, and the response from our customers was really amazing in Russia. Electromobiles are not popular and the infrastructure for them isn’t developed so far, but it has started to develop and it’s really dynamic. You know that there are electric public means of transportation as part of the smart city concept in St. Petersburg and in Moscow. I think this market will be developing in the future. Porsche has decided to open that door, this new era of electromobility. And Porsche combined it with typical DNA of sports cars developed on the race track with sustainable source of energy. So you have very fast acceleration and you have very good performance, it has very nice design. And what people like about this car is that it’s a very unique special sports car, elegant and it’s combined with the future oriented electric engine. The competitive soul of the Porsche car with DNA of our icon model combined with electric engine, and together it gives very unique and new Porsche driving.

 

– How does Porsche feel in terms of positioning itself in the Russian market? Can you say a few words about your target audience? Any facts and figures to share?

– I am in Russia for over ten years and this is interesting and challenging work. Russia is a very important market for Porsche. We are very satisfied with the way it is developing. We have 24 dealers in Russia in the cities that has more than 1 million inhabitants. If we talk about the target audience I would say that they are young and dynamic people. They are near 40 years old, younger than in Europe. The percentage of women of our customers who buy a car is also higher than in Europe, it is about 40% women and 60% men. This is higher than in Europe.

– Let’s set aside the technical side and business figures. Let’s go back to tennis. I can not imagine you being a sponsor and a partner and not playing tennis at least as an amateur player.  Do you play tennis? Do you have any favorite tennis stars?

– I played tennis in Germany when I was young. I like this sport very much because being on the court you need to have a balance between physical and psychological strength. You can change the game just by a good control of yourself. It is very interesting that there are different styles to play tennis. I lived in Miami where people really like tennis and where there is this tournament, so I watched it a lot. Speaking about favorites – first of all, I would like to say that the ladies on the court at SIBUR ARENA deserve all our respect. They made it to this level so they earn all our respect. They did a great job to perform on this level. So we are really happy to support this event. And I would like to mention Steffi Graf. She was playing amazing, an outstanding player. I watched her matches a lot of times. 

– A final question. You mentioned the ladies who are performing here. Maybe you have an eye on some promising new Russian names who are doing well here? Maybe you are eyeing already a new potential ambassador in Russia?

– First of all, let me congratulate them all on an incredible performance. It’s amazing that we have 2 Russians playing in Russia in the finals. We are happy to see them on the court in the final. I wish them reach world №1 in the ranking and after that will see that can we do in the future.

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